Glenn King

Data Sharing: The Next Step in Municipal Collaboration

One of the most powerful tools we have in our arsenal today is the ability to share information with others. Today’s world is built on this. We freely share our personal information and credit card details with many trustworthy companies on a regular basis, in exchange for goods and services. Modern homeowners are taking advantage of the smart devices that are now available. Either Google Home or Alexa, these devices allow you to turn on and off lights, heating and cooling units, etc. The convenience of being able to control these features remotely may come with the small price of that data being shared with the manufacturer of the smart device. The amount of personal information one shares online in general is fairly harmless. We share photos of our loved ones on Facebook and other social media to better connect with friends, family, and coworkers. Financial information is what is most closely guarded, for obvious reasons. Credit and banking information in the wrong hands can cause a ruinous situation for the account holder. Sharing information at the corporate level is usually done within the four walls of the corporation. Trade secrets, specific processes, anything that sets that company apart from its competitors needs protection. The municipal world is all about collaboration, transparency, and cooperation. Sharing information between municipalities is a common occurrence. It benefits all the municipalities and the communities involved. Just like a power grid, many municipalities are able to supply water to neighboring districts as part of a business agreement, or when one is in need. Having a system that can share the pertinent information securely between municipalities is essential. (Read our case study) Benefits:
  • Large municipalities are able to share information they collect with smaller communities. It is up to the larger municipality to decide whether they charge for this information or not.
  • Smaller municipalities get information that they need at low or no charge, making them operate more efficiently.
  • Transparency of water quality between the municipalities is established.
  • Problems between municipalities are mitigated before they happen.
Most municipal information is of public record, yet it is important to safeguard against those that would use that knowledge with malicious intent. Keeping that in mind, the solution used to securely present the data is key.